One extra body makes a difference when responding to a fire. Paducah’s fire chief says it takes everyone on a shift to respond to a fire.
A report by the International Association of Firefighters, a union representing firefighters in the U.S. and Canada, says the city of Paducah is recommended to have 24 people per shift. That would relieve pressure on current staff and increase overall response times to all incidents. Currently, the department has 15 firefighters and one assistant chief on each shift.
The report says with current staffing, Paducah Fire responds to about 30% of its emergency calls with four firefighters within four minutes. The report says they could increase that to about 80% with nine more people on a shift.
“If we were able to add a person to that, that would allow us to get to that number quicker, get to those jobs quicker, and create that efficiency,” said Paducah Fire Chief Steve Kyle.
Before the fire department and city can consider the IAF’s recommendations, they’re trying to reach national fire staffing standards.